My Birthday has a close link to this Second Moon, the Rowan Moon which is associated with Brighid, the Celtic goddess of hearth and home.
Honoured on the 1st February, at #Imbolc, Brighid is a fire goddess who offers protection to mothers and families, as well as watching over the hearth fires.
Imbolic is also called (Saint) Brigid's Day and is a Gaelic traditional festival marking the beginning of #spring.
Apparently this is a good time of year to perform #initiations (or, if you're not part of a group, do a self-dedication).
A Rowan is known by the #Celts as Luis (pronounced loush), and is associated with personal power, and success.
It is believed that #charms carved into a bit of a Rowan twig will protect the wearer from harm.
In some countries, Rowan, associated with Astral Travel, is planted in graveyards as it's believed to prevent the dead from lingering around too long.
Rowan Berries have a tiny 5-pointed star which correlates to the pentagram, a symbol of eternal symmetry, wisdom and protection.
Hang them outside your main door for protection and a symbol of welcoming benevolent entities.
The Tree’s name…
The name ‘Rowan’ may have been passed down from the old Norse name for the tree ‘Runa’. As well as being known as the Mountain Ash even though it isn’t a member of the Ash family, its folk names are many and varied…
…being but a few!
The #Rowan’s botanical name Sorbus Aucuparia is interesting, in that ‘aucuparia’ shows the tree has fruit which can be used by the ‘auceps’ or bird catcher to bait his traps.
Where Rowan’s Grow…
Rowans grow in the wild places where soil may be slightly peaty and acidic, the rocks and streams of the high moors and mountains.
They are a true native in the rocky habitats of Wales and Scotland and can withstand poor soil and icy temperatures.
Rowans love light and space, and as they’re a small, fairly short lived tree, not reaching much above 15 metres they don’t grow in the old woodlands or forests where they would be overshadowed by the oaks and pines. They are found however around woodland & forest edges & clearings.
Rowans are small wonderfully vivid, colourful trees and a popular choice in…
modern urban settings,
…which is fortunate for those living in the south, as it rarely grows there any longer in the wild.
We have in…
May the creamy-white clusters of flowers and
Late August bunches of brilliantly bright, red or orange berries
The sweet scented flowers attract bees & other pollinating insects and the fruits are coveted by birds. e.g.
Redwings & Fieldfares in Scotland
Blackbirds & Chaffinches in towns and gardens
Seeds are dispersed in their droppings.
We can also use the berries, high in Vitamin C, as well.
NOTE: the berries contain sorbic acid making them very astringent & should normally be boiled and strained before use.
NOTE:- Eating the berries raw can easily cause stomach upsets.
The Rowan Berries can be made into a delicious jelly, often combined with apples or crab apples or syrups, where the pulp & seeds are strained out; it goes very well with game birds, rabbit pies and venison. We’ve also made Rowan Wine, an alternative for vegetarians.
Last but not least…
the strong, dense light brown Rowan Wood is prised by contemporary wood carvers and turners for its fine grain, and crafted into…
At one time it was the traditional wood for…
pins to fasten,
fine walking sticks.
In the past Rowan wood was used in the making of many a farm…
...where it was also considered to offer protection from witchcraft